For the Congregation:
- Remember children during social times and passing the peace. Most children feel good when you greet them by name.
- Model for the children reverence and a spirit of worship.
- Offer to help parents who appear to need a hand before, during, or after the service.
- Tell your child(ren) that worship is a gift we bring to God. Explain that we practice worship at home and with our bigger Christian community. We “go to worship” more than “go to church.”
- Whisper explanations of what is happening throughout the service if necessary (i.e. “We are going to pray now, so fold your hands like this and close your eyes.” Or, “This is a time when the community will share what has happened this week. Let’s see if we can listen to their stories.”)
- Bring notebooks and pencils, finger puppets, popsicle-stick puppets, or putty to give the children something to do with their hands while they are sitting in chairs during the service.
- Older children can draw pictures of or write thoughts about the message they are hearing.
- At home, you might explain to your children: baptism, communion, special religious seasons and holidays, tithe, and the significance of the community gathering to worship.
- Please also explain the weekly rhythms of The Open Door to your child(ren).
- Discuss the message at home with your children.
- When you and your child have discussed communion, and made the decision to participate, encourage your child to join you. If your child is not yet receiving communion, s/he can come forward for a blessing from the elder.
For Worship Leaders:
- Use simple vocabulary and a good number of simple sentences in your teaching.
- Apply yourself to finding the simplicity in the profound Word of God, and communicate that simplicity during the service.
- Create a multi-sensory experience when possible.
- Repeat important messages or verses several times throughout the sermon.
- Repeat songs throughout the weeks, so that children can begin to learn them.